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UK Insights

Unstoppable march of click and collect

Bryan Roberts

Insights Director

Retail 29.01.2015 / 08:10

Multichannel High Street - Kantar Retail Infographic

Even specialist online retailers realise that physical locations might not be such a bad idea

Drive-through pick-up sites, lockers and even good old-fashioned shops are becoming increasing important as locations for the receipt or return of products ordered online.

The extent to which click and collect has fast become the norm is borne out by the retailers surveyed for Kantar Retail's Multichannel High Street report, in partnership with Squire Patton Boggswith, around 60% of whom already offer the service, with many other retailers intending to launch the service in 2015.

This shift is being prompted by two main factors: the inherent inconvenience of home delivery and a mounting number of workplaces becoming weary of their role as last-mile fulfilment providers for the likes of ASOS and Amazon.

For more 'traditional' retailers, click & collect has become a fundamental expectation for shoppers and has at the same time become a sizeable and rapidly growing part of their businesses. Asda is looking to lead the way with more than 600 click & collect locations at the end of 2014, including its own supermarkets, petrol stations, tube stations, lockers and business park sites.

From the retailer perspective, click & collect makes a great deal of sense. With shoppers doing some of the hard work for them, a level of cost and complexity is removed from the multichannel transaction, with click & collect deemed to be considerably more profitable (or less lossmaking, depending on the retailer!) than home delivery. There is also the possible upside of shoppers completing further instore purchases when collecting their items. Indeed, several retailers have intimated that between 60-75% of click & collect shoppers go on to purchase additional products while instore for item collection.

Transitioning instore staff to deal with the challenges that this may bring has created issues for a number of retailers. Issues over stores not receiving sales credits for instore collections or being penalised for returns have been commonplace, and 40% of retailers that we spoke to suggested that incentivising instore staff to support multichannel and click & collect has been a problem for them. Also, only 10% of shoppers have confidence in instore staff's understanding of the online offering.

Despite this, only 30% of retailers surveyed have instigated training and development programmes to bring their instore colleagues up to speed in terms of facilitating multichannel, whilst just over a quarter of them have implemented new instore KPIs to motivate multichannel customer service. On a broadly positive note, over half of retailers surveyed noted that their staff supported the need to embrace multichannel as an essential component of the retailer's wider proposition to shoppers.

With retailers rapidly rolling out click & collect capabilities across their bricks and mortar stores, it is understandably becoming an increasingly important part of broader shopping repertoires. That said, only 40% of shoppers frequently use click & collect for non-food purchases with a very modest 3% using grocery click & collect on an ongoing basis. Nonetheless, we would expect these proportions to steadily increase over time as retailer capabilities improve, new technologies (like temperature-controlled locker pods) are introduced and as shoppers become more aware of, and comfortable with, these new fulfilment options.

To download the full report visit the Kantar Retail website.

Source : Kantar Retail

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